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Seattle Sets Bikeshare Record with the APA in Town

Planners have gathered in Seattle to enjoy the city. The city's bikeshare system is also enjoying the planners.
James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell | April 20, 2015, 2pm PDT
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Joe Mabel

Pronto! Cycle Share reported record ridership numbers for its system on April 18, 2015—the same date as the commencement of the APA National Conference in Seattle.

The strong ridership trend continues on April 19, as eyewitness accounts by local bloggers at The Urbanist confirmed empty bike share stations at the station location nearest to the Convention Center.

The bikeshare station near my hotel, a few blocks away from the convention center, was also empty yesterday all afternoon and into the early evening.

Pronto! allowed the speculation (via Twitter) that planners were in part responsible for the uptick in ridership—the system also completed its #ProntoWeek membership drive last week.

To end any doubt about the dramatic impact of 6,400 urban experience-minded planners descending on a city, the intrepid bloggers at The Urbanist also crunched the numbers at a UCL CASA bikeshare map created by Oliver O'Brien, finding that the bikeshare stations nearest the Convention Center were the busiest in the entire system over the 24 hours that set the system record.

The achievement is worthy of kudos to the Seattle bikeshare system, but also to the changing culture of planners from around the country. It's a simple matter of leading by example, given that the benefits of biking to the environment, traffic safety, and the local economy are well established. Hopefully this example can also help make the case for planners working to expand bikeshare options in downtown tourists districts and everywhere else.

If you're interested in checking in on the status of the Pronto! system throughout the final full day of the conference, check the real time station information map.

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